Monthly Archives: February 2013

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Student Spotlight: Julia Hanlon

Category : Student Spotlight


Julia in action

Julia in action

The Sky’s The Limit!

Get to know ASH participant Julia Hanlon, a bright, cheerful, well-traveled student from the east coast who teaches yoga while studying for double degrees in ethnomusicology and religion.

Home School: Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts

UH Classes: I’m taking 5 courses: Understanding Indian Religions; an ethnomusicology seminar on the voice; an upper level religion seminar called Jesus the Class; Hula and Chant Ensemble; and Jazz Band. I really like my professors. They are charismatic lecturers!

What Instrument Do You Play? Actually I’m a singer.

Favorite form of social media: I prefer face-to-face interactions with real talk.

What’s on your iPod? Lots of things! I have some podcasts from NPR: On Being with Krista Tippett and This American Life. As for music, I like World Music and Jazz. In the last 24 hours I’ve listened to Kirtan, westernized Indian chants; India Arie, an R & B singer; Bon Iver; Juana Molina, an Argentinean singer; Krishna Das; and Ella Fitzgerald, an American Jazz singer.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Alive

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Curious

Describe a turning point in your life: I’d say a turning point came 11 years ago when I went to Croatia for the first time to meet family from my Mom’s side. My Mom’s family lives in Dubrovnik, a beautiful walled city on the Mediterranean Sea. This ancient city is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I’ve been back several times now.

Where else have you travelled? I’ve travelled to South America (Ecuador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Costa Rica), Mexico, Japan, and all over Europe. You can’t get to Croatia without stopping somewhere in Europe first!

Something that few people know about you: I love to people watch. When I’m on the bus, I don’t read or listen to music, but rather watch people and listen to their conversations! I’m also fascinated by the human body and how people walk.

What do you do in addition to your college study? I teach yoga and run. Since moving to Hawai‘i I’ve been substitute teaching in yoga studios in town. My freshman year at Bates I began a free yoga class for students, faculty and staff, and about 50 – 100 people would participate in each session. Now we have other teachers helping with classes. Over the past few years I’ve earned 500 hours of teacher training in Boston. Teaching yoga is my way of giving back to the world. In the yoga tradition we call it seva, or selfless service. (See Julia’s yoga blog here.)

What’s next?  Some colleagues and I are creating a national organization called Uniyogi, which connects college students in a community dedicated to yoga. It’s an organization for students by college students. We are compiling a database of teachers in colleges across the country and plan to host a summit in the spring 2014.

What are your long-term goals? To become a therapist and begin a holistic practice working with people struggling with addiction.

Favorite Hawai‘i tradition: I’ve been enjoying listening to people talk about the meaning of aloha spirit, which is partly about sharing.

Favorite local food: Okinawan sweet potatoes.

Favorite Hawai‘i place: To be discovered!